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Herne Hill and Merthyr CC 25

Riding conditions on Good Friday were far from good what with persistent rain and not an ounce of warmth to be offered by the sun.  Even so seventeen Lewes Wanderers were determined not to miss out on an opportunity to ride around the historic Herne Hill Velodrome in south London, an event organised by the club for the benefit of members.  Those that made the drive were given two hours of training and induction in the art of riding a fixed wheel bike around a banked track and while they all got thoroughly soaked to the skin everyone stayed upright and enjoyed the experience.

Some riders it seems will go to almost any lengths in search of a good time, indeed husband and wife time-trial devotees Brett and Lisa Davis drove over 200 miles to a cold and snowy south Wales to compete in the prestigious Merthyr CC 25 on Easter Sunday.  Even though the event permits a field of up to 150 riders places are highly sought after on what is recognised as a course conducive to fast times.  The reason for that being, entirely within national regulations, that the course begins high on a hill near Merthyr Tydfil, before 4 to 5 miles of almost continuous downhill until the riders reach the valley floor alongside the Neath River and Canal.  After 14 miles or so they reach a roundabout on the outskirts of Neath where they turn to race back up the same road and cross the finish line just before having to surmount the incline they previously rocketed down.

Brett Davis by Brian Jones

Brett certainly took full advantage of the slingshot start and all his winter training as he sliced over 3 minutes off his previous personal best to register a time of 52 minutes and 34 seconds to place him an impressive 18th of the 93 male riders to finish.  Lisa meanwhile fell an agonising single second outside her PB of 58:10, but was still quick enough for 5th of the 17 female competitors and fastest of all among the over 40s.

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